Because the closure of a long-term care facility may affect the overall health of residents, their access to care and the quality of care, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued an Interim Final Rule with comment period to provide an organized process for facilities to follow to ensure that resident health and safety is protected during any transition period. Effective March 23, 2011, the Interim Final Rule (76 Fed. Reg. 9503-9512, February 18, 2011) requires the administrator of a Medicare skilled nursing facility or a Medicaid nursing facility to provide written notification of an impending closure and a plan for the relocation of residents at least 60 days prior to the date of the impending closure. If the facility’s participation in Medicare or Medicaid has been terminated, the notifications must be provided no later than the date deemed to be appropriate by CMS. The implementation of notification requirements for nursing facility closures was mandated by section 6113 of the Patent Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Pub. L. 111-148 (PPACA).
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